January 15, 2013
The 5 Main Characters from “Shuffle!”
From the left: Nerine, Kaede, Asa, Lisianthus, Primula
The Extra Characters featured in Essence Plus.
From the Left: Ruri (not a main character), Daisy, Tsubomi, Sakura, Kareha. Mayumi and Nadeshiko is missing.
Title: Shuffle! and Shuffle! Essence Plus. Do note that these are two separate names.
Release Date: January 30, 2004 / October 30, 2009 respectively
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v28
Game Type: Novel
Summary: Rin Tsuchimi is a normal high school student who spends his “lucky days” with his childhood friend “Kaede Fuyou”. One day, he meets two girls; one from the race of the gods and one from the race of the demons. They both know his name, and both say “see you later” as they leave. A few days later, the school becomes noisy with the rumors of two beautiful transfer students. The two girls, Lisanthus and Nerine, are the girls Rin had met earlier, and they both came to his school for one goal: to get closer with him and hopefully be accepted as his bride.
Story Length: Moderately Short (20 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Moderate
Comments: Relative to the games released at this time, Shuffle was more on the “Hard” area, in terms of game completion. The same applies for Shuffle Essence +, which in my opinion, was slightly harder.
Character Design Rating: 7/10
Story Rating: 6/10
Game Quality: Moderate
Overall Rating: 6/10
Rating Comments: Yep, Aoi Nishimata and Hiro Suzumiya for the artwork, I personally loved the character design in terms of the personality that the characters had; each of them had a unique personality that made each of them lovable.
Normally, I don’t give high scores for story lines similar to this game, but the mere fact that there are “Past Histories” behind each character, as well as sequels made this game that much worthwhile.
Sexual Content: Moderately Low
Translation Rating: English — 4/10, Korean — 9/10
(Damn you, MangaGamer, with your crappy translations)
Several sequels, including “Really? Really!”, “Tick! Tack!”, and “Shuffle! Love Rainbow”
Comments: What’s the difference between Shuffle and Shuffle Essence Plus? Glad you asked. ALMOST NOTHING! Both stories start exactly the same, but take on different paths. Essence Plus is an “upgraded version” of the original game, and has “routes” for 6 additional characters: Kareha, Tsubomi, Daisy, Nadeshiko, Mayumi, and Sakura.
Additionally, the Essence Plus version will have shortened stories for the main 5 characters. Other than that, they are theoretically the same.
Ideally, you should play both games, but if you don’t have time for both, go with Essence Plus. The shortened routes for the main characters are not as significant as the extra routes this version offers.
If you liked Ruri in Shuffle Essence+, don’t fret! She becomes the main heroine in Shuffle! Love Rainbow.